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Crouching lion
Type
Sculpture
Subject
Figurative
 
 
 
Date
AD 386-534
Material and technique
Grey limestone
 
 
 
Measurements
112 x 51 x 78 cm
Compiler
Augusta Monferini
 
 
 
Description
The grey limestone sculpture dating from the Northern Wei dynasty was damaged during a fire that broke out while it was being moved from Turin to Rome. The pieces were reassembled, with repairs inserted in a neutral colour.
The animal rests on its back legs, its jaws open wide towards the beholder. The sculptor wanted above all to create a fearful image and therefore the animal’s musculature and its movement appear stylized, while the ferocity of the head is accentuated.
Like all ancient oriental sculpture it had a ritual function. Large figures of animals guarded the tombs of princes and were placed in pairs along the “Spirit Path” leading to the entrance to the burial place.
Crouching lion
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